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Hooray for Failing!

A funny thing happens when you work towards your goals and you miss.

If you do the work, you come out a stronger person open to different goals.

For the past year and a half I had been working towards a marketing position within my job. I was doing a lot of writing and social media posts for the organization to help show them I could easily take on the job. I knew the position would be posted post-Covid chaos, so I was focused on that one job. Nothing else.

I enrolled in an online marketing class to beef up my skills. I learned things I never knew and realized I truly love writing marketing materials for businesses. I would never have known that had I not been prepping for the job.

Finally, after months of waiting, the job was posted! was totally different than what it was originally going to be. They decided they wanted someone with several years of marketing executive experience.

I don't have that. I have a few years of marketing experience. I've been with the organization for 6 years and I know their vision, mission and values. It wasn't enough, and I didn't even get an interview.

The sadness I felt at first was a heavy dark cloud. For several days I couldn't pull myself out of the crushing disappointment. I felt like a failure, like I had nothing of value to offer.

With tears in my eyes, I told my husband, "Maybe I'm delusional. Maybe I'm a terrible writer and no one has the nerve to tell me. I think I just suck."

That's what missing a goal does to you--it gets in your head and has you believing you're not worthy. Too many positive quotes claim all you have to do is believe and visualize your goal. I couldn't have visualized or believed more than I did, yet I still missed the mark.

I meditate/pray most mornings, and I often ask God, "Where do you need me?" because I do struggle with feeling I have no place, and I add no value. I want so badly to put my skills to work that it makes me feel suffocated that I'm not.

I recently sat again and asked that same question. We humans ask questions, but we secretly have our own answers that we'd rather hear.

If I'm honest, I have known for a while now I need to go back to teaching. I used to teach at colleges as an adjunct, but the work was so underpaid, as a single mom at the time, I had to quit.

Teachers in my kids' schools are burned out. They have had 2 years of unbelievable stress. A thought occurred to me, "Don't run from the fire. Run INTO it."

I want to help them. I want to put my degrees and passion to work. I enrolled to be a substitute to bring relief. To reach students. To breathe life into the part of my brain that loves talking about grammar, essay writing and literature--you know, the stuff teenagers will roll their eyes at. Bring it on!

When I opened the door to other possibilities and stopped clinging so stubbornly to my original goal of working my way up a corporate ladder, the opportunities revealed themselves.

A college for students studying to go into the nursing field hired me part time on the spot to teach English and public speaking to give them the communication skills they need with patients. They're in the inner city of Dayton, and I'll be teaching non-traditional students who need extra encouragement and confidence instilled in them.

Nurses are exhausted now, and they need help. I don't have the stomach to help them (I've never even pulled my kids' teeth without dry-heaving, so I'm out), but I can teach and prepare the future nurses who are headed their way.

Since I've posted my resume online, people have reached out to me to write for their businesses. These are entrepreneurs who are working hard to succeed, but have no time/interest to write marketing materials. It's my job to help them say what they want to say but don't know how to say it. And I love that.

When we're young, we're full of vigor and irrational confidence. We think we can do anything. I've noticed as I age, I lose this risk-taking energy since I have bills and children who can't be naked or hungry.